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Barnes & Noble Nook


Just when Amazon thought they were about to have the e-book market cornered, Barnes & Noble crashes the party with their own device, Nook. Nook one ups the Kindle by adding two screens: One e-ink screen and another color touch-sensitive screen dedicated to navigation. The device also features free use of AT&T’s 3G network for downloading and purchasing books, Wi-Fi, and a book lending feature that allows you to lend titles to other nook users which they can keep for up to 14 days.

Some other Nook features include a paper-like display, a powerful battery life that can last up to ten days, and it can be used as an MP3 player, housing 26 hours of audio. The Nook is available for pre-order at and is priced at $259.

Check out Barnes & Nobles’ Nook video:

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Dena Cassella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Haole built. O'ahu grown
Barnes & Noble digital division plummeting due to poor Nook sales
Nook HD

Covered by the New York Times earlier today, Barnes & Noble announced a 60 percent drop in revenue year-over-year within the digital content division of the company. This section of the company includes all current Nook hardware as well as digital sales on the e-book market. In addition, executives within the company mentioned that Barnes & Noble's portion of the e-book market has fallen to 20 percent.  Barnes & Noble originally snagged 25 percent of the market when the first Nook e-reader was released during 2009, but that figure has continued to drop over the past few years due to competition from Amazon.
According to the press release, Barnes & Noble executives attribute the loss of digital sales to the lack of new hardware during 2013. Referencing the difference, CEO Michael P. Huseby said "Sales in the NOOK segment declined year-over-year largely because during the previous holiday season the company introduced two new tablet products, while no new tablets were introduced this year." According to Huseby, the company is looking into new partnerships with device manufacturers that could lead to new developments in the Nook line of devices. 

It's likely that Barnes & Noble is having a difficult time competing with Amazon's significantly discounted prices as well as programs like the Kindle Lending Library that allow Amazon Prime users to check out one book each month for free rather than paying for it. Interestingly, sales at brick-and-mortar stores only declined by approximately 6.6 percent year-over-year. In addition to hard cover and paperback books, this figure includes sales of games, toys, educational items and other popular gifts.
Book publishers are heavily dependent on Barnes & Noble to showcase new releases, specifically because the company is the largest remaining bookstore chain in the United States. The second largest brick-and-mortar bookstore chain, Borders, closed during 2011 due to lack of sales. Not surprisingly, Barnes & Noble acquired Borders' trademarks and the old Borders site now redirects to

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Amazon adds educational goals for kids on Kindle Fire tablets
amazon updates kindle freetime

Announced by Amazon earlier today, the development team behind the Kindle Fire tablets will be launching new features for Kindle FreeTime that will help parents encourage learning before entertainment. For example, after parents turn on the Learn First feature, all entertainment content within a child's FreeTime library will be removed until a specific educational goal is met. When using this feature, children would have to earn access to entertainment applications by interacting with educational applications. For instance, parents could set a goal to read for an hour before entertaining videos can be unlocked.
Amazon has also added additional time restriction settings to make sure the child can't access content in the middle of the night. The new Bedtime mode allows parents to make FreeTime inaccessible between a specific set of hours, 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. for instance.
Parents can also set time limits based off different days of the week, ideal when a child has more free time on the weekend compared to a school night. 
While FreeTime is completely free for parents to use, Amazon also offers the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited subscription service that provides access to educational books, videos and apps. The cost of the subscription ranges from $2.99 up to $9.99 a month depending on the number of children using Kindle FreeTime Unlimited as well as membership in Amazon Prime. According to Amazon, hundreds of these educational tools are available now and many more will be added during 2014.
While a much larger collection of educational applications can be found for Apple's iPad, the sheer amount of customization options for parents on the Kindle Fire tablets significantly trumps Apple's software at the moment. Amazon plans to roll out these changes to Kindle FreeTime prior to the end of the month, ideal for any parent that receives a Kindle Fire tablet as a holiday gift this year.

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Nation’s first all-digital, bookless library opens in Texas
bookless all digital library opens in texas bibliotech concept

Opening yesterday in San Antonio, Texas, the Bexar County digital library called BiblioTech is the first library in the United States that only provides digital copies of books to patrons rather than stocking paper copies as well. Using a store design that's a combination of a trendy Internet cafe and an Apple store, the public is free to browse the catalog of e-books on one of the large touchscreen tables and download a copy onto their personal e-reader like an Amazon Kindle. In addition, any resident of Bexar County can check out one of the 600 e-readers on hand and take it home to read books checked out at the library. 
Regarding other technology within the location, the all-digital library is stocked 48 iMac computer stations, 10 Macbook laptops and 40 iPads for use within the library. The library plans to hold special events like computer learning classes in order to educate the public on e-readers and other new technology.

The library is also attempting to cater to children in the area with 200 additional e-readers formatted with special kid's content as well as a regular story time hour and a Xbox 360 gaming system hooked up to a large HDTV. 
In order to check out books from BiblioTech, Bexar County residents can access the digital catalog online on their mobile device after downloading the 3M Cloud Library app. That mobile app allows the resident to link their library card to the BiblioTech system. After selecting an available book to check out through the application, that book will be listed in the "My Books" section of the app along with a countdown of how many days the book is accessible. At launch, BiblioTech is making 10,000 titles available to the public in digital e-book form and those books can be checked out for two weeks at a time.

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